There is no joy in suffering with continual colds and coughs through winter and then being addled with hay fever as we move into spring. There are many reasons why you might succumb to colds and flu more than other people. And some of these reasons are underlying your hay fever risk too. To know how to strengthen your immune function, it helps to understand how your immunity can be affected negatively.
Causes of poor immune function include:
- gut dysbiosis (imbalance in your gut microbiome)
- leaky gut syndrome (weak gut wall)
- vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- chronic stress
- poor diet choices
- poor quality sleep
- toxicity or toxic burden from heavy metals, chemicals, food additives
- poor detoxification processes
- poor digestion leading to poor absorption of nutrients
- smoking and other drug use
- hormone imbalance, especially excess oestrogen
- lack of exercise
There are various vitamins and minerals that are essential for good immunity. It’s also important to eat adequate good quality protein foods. Avoid processed foods and sugary foods and drinks. This list might help you to include more of the foods in your diet to boost your immunity.
- Mineral-rich foods
- Iron (red meat, dark poultry meat, dried apricots, lentils, oysters)
- Zinc (oysters, mussels, beef, liver, herring, seeds, whole grains, lamb, nuts)
- Selenium (brazil nuts, cashews, alfalfa, oysters, tuna, eggs, fish, garlic)
- Vitamin-rich foods
- Vitamin C (kiwi fruit, strawberries, oranges, broccoli, red capsicum, lemons)
- Vitamin A (cod liver oil, liver, milk, eggs, orange and dark green fruit and veg)
- Vitamin D (cod liver oil, sunshine, mushrooms that have been in the sun)
- Protein foods
- Lean organic meat, free range poultry, eggs, tofu, fish, seafood, tempeh, legumes, yoghurt, goat’s cheese, sheep’s cheese, buffalo mozzarella, nuts and seeds
Proven strategies that work
To boost immune function and also reduce the severity and duration of colds include:
- Echinacea – take this daily throughout the year to boost your "innate" immune function
- Andrographis – helps to nip colds in the bud, or reduce their severity
- Zinc – essential for immune function
- Vitamin C – to help with prevention
- Vitamin A – to help repair mucous membranes
- Soothing Cold Tea – have a cup or two a day
- Rest – your body needs to rest when you have a virus so your immune ‘army’ can do its best work.
- Honey – raw honey may help reduce coughs, so mix with fresh lemon juice and hot water for a warming, soothing drink.
If you are getting too many colds or suffering with hay fever, book an appointment so I help you boost your immunity for long term good health.